Friday, October 31, 2014

Descending Sequence

     'It was a fearful thing
     to come into a man's heart...'
                                     —William Carlos Williams, "Winter Sunset"

What I thought to be a river
turned out to be sky.
What I thought were shore, island,
rocks, river-mist,
turned out to be clouds, shadow,
shot-holes in sky's canvas.
Even the deepest shade
down near the horizon
turned out not to be earth,
the real horizon was lower still.
At the oblong world's
very base,
further darkness, a round-topped tree,
a telephone pole, the sharp
ridge of a roof, chimney, gable end:
silhouettes on a sky
differently white, not the illusory
river's whiteness—and all
very small under the huge
vista above. Small,
as if in fear.

—Denise Levertov

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